Congress launches its new voting system with the Amnesty Law, which requires a minimum of 176 deputies

01/23/2024 View of touch screens, in the Congress of Deputies, on January 23, 2024, in Madrid (Spain). The Congress continues with works in the chamber for the installation of new touch screens, which will replace the old monitors and keyboards that are in all the seats of the Session Hall, a project that costs three million euros and that requires holding in the Senate Plenary Sessions for the month of January. POLITICS Eduardo Parra – Europa Press

The Plenary Session of Congress will debut its new voting system with touch screens on Tuesday in a session in which the proposed Amnesty Law will be debated for submission to the Senate, whose final vote requires the support of the absolute majority of the Chamber (176 votes) as it is an organic law. As reported by parliamentary sources, the forecast is that the works that have taken place in the chamber for the installation of the new screens will be completed in time so that this plenary session can be held in the Session Hall. This reform, which started at the end of December, has forced the Lower House to meet the Plenary Session twice in the Senate this month. Although in principle it was reported that the change of monitors would not affect the voting system, the buttons that had been used to vote in the seats have finally been removed and now your honorable Members will vote on their respective touch screens. The remodeling, which cost three million euros, consisted of the removal of the monitors and keyboards that had been installed under the Presidency of the socialist Manuel Marín (2004 and 2008) and that had become obsolete. TRANSLATION OF OFFICIAL LANGUAGES On those screens their honorable members could only consult the institution’s intranet, and in fact, they stopped using them very soon, because shortly after their launch they began to be given laptop computers to which they already had access to Internet. Later came the tablets that continue to be provided to them when they arrive at Congress. The name of the occupant of each seat will continue to appear on the new touch screens and their owners will be able to see up close the electronic voting panel that they can also consult on the two giant screens on the sides of the Plenary Hall. Likewise, they will be used to connect to the Spanish translation of the plenary sessions and to follow them through subtitles. The only item on the agenda of Tuesday’s extraordinary plenary session will be the opinion on the Amnesty Law approved by the Justice Commission last Tuesday. In addition to voting on the amendments that the groups have decided to keep alive, since it is an organic law, the text will have to be submitted to a final vote as a whole and obtain a minimum of 176 votes to be approved, so the margin is narrow. If the script is fulfilled, it will go ahead with the support of 178 deputies and the rejection of the 172 made up of PP, Vox, UPN and the Canarian Coalition. In any case, it is not ruled out that the PP will once again request a public vote and by call for this procedure, as it already did when the initiative was taken into consideration in the first debate and when its entire amendment was voted on. If you choose to vote by voice, there will be no risk with the screens. Once the plenary session of Congress approves the bill, it will be sent to the Senate, where it must continue its processing. Of course, the PP, which has a majority in the Upper House, intends to delay its time in the Senate as much as possible. In any case, according to the deadline set by the Constitution, the initiative must be approved in a maximum of two months. And then, in spring, it will return to Congress for final approval.

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